In the images above, a Greek man tried to burn himself, supposedly to make a political statement, in front of a bank in Thessaloniki. For several years, Greece has suffered a severe financial crisis, and many people have difficulty repaying loans. The cops rushed to a bank on the main drag, where they found a 55-year-old guy with a bullhorn and some kind of canister with inflammable liquid (I don’t think that it was petrol… that’s explosive, and it has a slightly different colour of flame). The man shouted protests against the government, bankers, and the political apparat, threatening to burn himself as a protest against such. Of course, the coppers tried to talk him out of it, but he managed to douse himself with liquid and set himself alight. This was this guy’s third (!) attempt at self-immolation over the past two years; each time in front of a branch of the Piraeus Bank, to whom he once owed a large debt. In a statement, Piraeus Bank said that the man was a former client of the bank, with a large outstanding debt; but they went on to say they wrote it off in 2006 because of the guy’s “personal problems”. This time, the cops extinguished the fire; they took the nutter to hospital with minor burns, where, according to doctors, he’s in no danger whatsoever. Good on the coppers… they reacted in good time, they put out the fire with no delay, and they got Mr Fruit Loops to hospital with no lolly-gagging.
Amongst the real suffering, there’s more than one “Winnegan’s Fake” out there. (I shamelessly stole that from a Sci-Fi novella I read years ago… I don’t recall the author or its title… damn! It’s not MY coinage, though.) Don’t let that fool you… the policies advocated by the Neoliberal Free Marketer oligarchs through their Tea Party sock-puppets are evil. They don’t care if hundreds set themselves on fire… it “decreases the surplus population”. Don’t forget… the oligarchs live in guarded, walled (usually behind a high berm), and gated communities in the Third World… and the USA, too. Such communities are rare in Europe or Canada. That tells you something, doesn’t it? Yes, troubled times bring out the nutters… but they’re only the visible part of the problem. Most decent folk suffer in silence… and the news media gleefully covers the nutters rather than the misery that the oligarchs inflict on ordinary folk… that’d mean that they wouldn’t get to keep their jobs, dontcha know. Expect to see MORE of this. It’s all an attempt to divert your attention from the REAL problems and convince you to vote for rightwing extremists. If you do, they’ll stamp their boot full-force into your face as a “thank you”… all in the name of “My Personal Saviour Jayzuss”. The blood n’ gore won’t bother ‘em… the misery inflicted by downsizing and outsourcing doesn’t, after all. You see, they’re the “productive” people, they “earned” it… they “DESERVE” it. If you protest what the Five Percenters do… that’s “class warfare”. If the Five Percenters pick your pocket and steal from you (increasing their share of the national income from 9 to 23 percent)… that’s the “Invisible Hand of the Market”. I seem to see a contradiction in that, don’t you?
You KNOW what to do next November…
Saturday 17 September 2011